Collecting personal data from consumers has long been a controversial topic. Whether or not to regulate big data is another one.
Recently, we covered the article, “Big Data is Secretly Scoring You” in our blog that discussed the various types of personal data that is being secretly collected and sold to marketers. Consumer data profiles are created specifically to develop personalized targeted ads. Some personal data is being used for positive reasons such as providing consumer with targeted coupons. However, other data is being used to “evaluate” and predetermine consumer actions, which unknowingly prevent people from getting employment, credit, and mortgages. So Is it time to finally regulate big data? In a recent study, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) found that kids’ test scores were being secretly collected to establish their big data profile.
According to Melanie Hicken’s article, “Feds say it’s time to regulate Big Data” the (FTC) is finally cracking down on personal data collection in an effort to protect consumers. The FTC is proposing a website that would grant access to personal data and instructions for opting out. Consumers currently have little to no information about the data and cannot access the data.
The FTC is also urging “Congress to pass legislation that requires retailers to notify consumers when sharing their information and to make it harder to collect sensitive information, such as health data, by requiring “express consent” from consumers.” In a response to the negative consumer reaction Axciom, a large data company, created a website that enables consumers to update/correct their data and opt out completely. Over 500 million users have visited the site, but a small percentage of the users have actually updated their personal information. This is only website of its kind currently on the Internet.
Although, no official legislation has passed yet, more awareness is being generated in the press about big data. How do you feel about your personal data being collected and sold? Do you believe there should be strict laws in placed prohibiting data collection?
Read more in an excerpt from the article.
One of the companies studied by the FTC, for example, stores information on more than 1.4 billion consumer transactions and adds 3 billion new data points to its database each month.
“The extent of consumer profiling today means that data brokers often know as much — or even more — about us than our family and friends,” Ramirez said in a statement.
To increase transparency, the agency wants Congress to pass legislation that requires retailers to notify consumers when sharing their information and to make it harder to collect sensitive information, such as health data, by requiring “express consent” from consumers.